A young father was left terrified for his life after he was badly beaten during a mugging as he headed home.
Ben Reynolds, 27, was approached by two men as he cycled at 5.30am yesterday after finishing a night shift at Amazon in Bolton. They asked him for the time in an alleyway on Minerva Road, near the Royal Bolton Hospital, before demanding his wallet.
He refused to give it to them so they launched a violent attack before taking his bike, phone, watch and bag, leaving him bleeding in the street. Ben said: ‘I came across two guys, they were dressed in hoodies, tracksuits and caps. They asked me if I had the time so I told them. They asked me for a cigarette, I told them I don’t smoke. Then they told me to give them my wallet.
‘I tried to ride away but my bike is not great, they caught up with me and pushed me off it. They started punching me and kicking me. They got me in the sides and in my legs, but it was mainly my face. There was this stabbing pain right in my eye.
‘I tried to resist as much as I could but eventually they pulled out a hammer. They threatened to kill me. I just gave up and gave them my stuff. It’s not worth it. One of the men rode off on my bike, the other was running towards the hospital.’
He went to a neighbour for help and was taken to hospital but is now recovering at his mother’s house so his daughter, who is two next month, won’t see his injuries.
He said: ‘It might take weeks for the swelling to go down. I don’t want her to see me like this, I think she will get quite scared.’
Speaking about his recovery, Ben said: ‘They had to prise open my eye. It feels like I’ve constantly got an eyelash in it and my face keeps bleeding whenever I try to smile.
‘I am not allowed to sleep for more than a couple of hours for the next week – someone has to wake me up to make sure I don’t fall into a coma.’
His mum Patricia, 64, said: ‘I just want to know who has done this and why. It is obvious they wanted money, they are going to do it again to somebody else.’
Ben added: ‘They had that hammer for a reason, they were looking for someone and I just happened to come across them.’
After a social media campaign, Ben was reunited with his wallet but his other belongings remain missing.